pandemo (pandemo) wrote,
pandemo
pandemo

Act II, Scene I PatM (Word Count 4911) F


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS MAIN HEADQUARTERS – LOBBY – MORNING


Obie and Jeremiah show up thirty minutes early for her appointment. He escorts her to the elevator banks.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS MAIN HEADQUARTERS – MR. BIGGLER’S WAITING ROOM


Jeremia and Obie sit in Mr. Biggler’s waiting area. When she is called in, he remains.


        OBIE
    I thought you had someone to see here.

        JEREMIAH
    I do. It’ll keep. Break a leg.

        OBIE
    You dope! I thought that was for the theater…

        RECEPTIONIST
    O. B. Horsefeathers?

Obie stands.


        RECEPTIONIST
    Through that door on the left.

INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS MAIN HEADQUARTERS – Mr. Biggler’s OFFICE


Obie enters, meeting Mr. Biggler, the same man she’d met at the party the night before. Her carefully rehearsed presentations are unnecessary, however.


        MR. BIGGLER
    I see your wardrobe hasn’t improved since
    last night. You’ll never get along here without
    making yourself more presentable.

        OBIE
    That’s about stupid. I write. What I look like
    is immaterial. The quality of what I produce
    is the mark that has to meet the standard.

Mr. Biggler glares at Obie. Nobody talks back to him.


        MR. BIGGLER
    Nobody your age has the faintest clue what
    the hip young movie-going public wants.

Obie throws back her head and laughs heartily.


        OBIE
    Obviously, you did not do your homework.
    One glance at my bio would have revealed to
    you that I teach kids from eighth to twelfth
    grade for a living. How long has it been since
    you had a meaningful chat with someone that
    age? They’d eat someone full of false notions
    and calcified ideas like you for lunch.

Obie shakes her head at him in disgust and turns, starting toward the door.


        MR. BIGGLER
    You disturb me.

Obie cuts him off.


        OBIE
    I’d imagine so. You aren’t used to a free ex-
    change of ideas. There’s no give and take to
    you. Nobody else is allowed credit for a brain
    or an original idea.

        MR. BIGGLER
    A twenty-six-year old heroine? A thirty some-
    thing consort? They are so over the hill as to
    be non-entities! That’s going to sell to teen-
    agers?

Obie shakes her head sadly.


        OBIE
    Good writing sells to kids. Truth in storyline
    sells to kids. Powerful issues faced by real
    people sell to kids. They’re no dummies, and
    they don’t need to be pandered to.

    Your idea of a plot line, judging from the films
    Josh and Harry have had to do from your stu-
    dio, is to sprinkle blood all over and have
    people dash around swearing. Actors capable
    of producing Oscar-quality work! What a
    waste! Kids quickly get past that stage! Not
    all of them even go through it.

        MR. BIGGLER
    And then, you need to consider what you’re
    doing to the careers of your friends. Jeremiah
    still owes me a picture on his contract; Harri-
    son also has at least one left to do here, and
    as for Josh Hartnett, he won’t be available for
    three films yet. Do you really intend that they
    break contract?

    You seem all set to dash off and do your films
    as indie productions, yet use my contracted
    actors and their big box office drawing power
    as your players.

    I’m telling you very clearly right now: I will
    never allow Jeremiah or Josh to participate in
    such fiascos. No self-respecting actor who
    desires to keep working in this town would go
    off during the summer hiatus and risk filming
    an indie that alienated his studio.

        OBIE
    I do not believe in telling people what to do or
    not to do with their lives. It may interest you
    to know that I told Jeremiah within minutes of
    meeting him that he could not play Cu in
    Saga. He took it hard, but when I explained
    my reasons, he got over it. When Propinquity
    gets nominated, you just remember that you
    rejected it without even giving it a hearing.

INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS MAIN HEADQUARTERS – MR. BIGGLER’S WAITING ROOM - (CONTINUOUS)


Obie exits softly, refusing to let Mr. Biggler see how angry she is, but Jeremiah is not fooled. He stands and meets her part way, pulling her into his arms and kissing her.


        JEREMIAH
    That bad, huh?

        OBIE
    I know you tried to warn me, Jeremiah, but
    I’m scared. He’s vile. It was a no-go from
    start to finish. He made his decision last night,
    I’m sure. I didn’t even make a single pitch.

Jeremiah looks at her in amazement.


        JEREMIAH
    You sure were in there a long time for not
    pitching…

        OBIE
    I’ll play you Josh’s cell phone’s record of it
    later when we’re safely out of here. He told
    me to be sure I recorded every word said.

        JEREMIAH
    He did? I knew they helped you prepare, but
    I had no idea…

        OBIE
    The man not only is not interested, but he
    managed to be degrading and insulting to
    boot. I hate to admit it, but I gave as good as
    I got and enjoyed doing it immensely. Some-
    times I scare myself.

INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS MAIN HEADQUARTERS – HALLWAY


As Jeremiah and Obie pass through the hallway leading to the elevator bank, his eyes light on the executive washroom.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS MAIN HEADQUARTERS - EXECUTIVE WASHROOM - CONTINUOUS


Trying the washroom door, Jeremiah quickly drags Obie inside and locks it.


        JEREMIAH
    Okay. Now, show me.

Obie opens the cell phone and displays a shaky rendition of her conversation with Mr. Biggler. There’s nothing shaky or muffled about the dialogue. Jeremiah is furious.


        JEREMIAH
    That man thinks we’re his effing slaves! He
    may be able to make us honor our contracts,
    but he can’t make us do good quality work.
    We can drag out the production so the costs
    eat him alive.

    Oh, I can hardly wait to play this back for
    Harry and Robbie.

        OBIE
    And Josh. After all, it’s his phone.

    Jeremiah, you must remain professional. I
    don’t want you to stoop to his level or tactics.

    We’ll just be more creative than he can imag-
    ine. That blindsides people like him.

        JEREMIAH
    Josh’s already back in Arizona. He won’t be
    back until Saturday. We’ll see him at Mona’s
    party.

Jeremiah has some business on a different floor, so he and Obie head toward the elevator.


        JEREMIAH
    Are you willing to give Robbie the go-ahead to
    film indie?

        OBIE
    I see no reason not to. With the studio sys-
    tem in decline, Mr. B.’s power must be dwin-
    dling. Good quality will always be in demand.

        JEREMIAH
    And our engagement?

Jeremiah reaches for her hand.


        OBIE
    I thought that was just a publicity stunt,
    right?

Jeremiah’s jaw muscle jumps.


        JEREMIAH
      (reluctantly)
    Right. Whatever you say.

INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS MAIN HEADQUARTERS – ELEVATOR


The doors open, and disgorge all the people. When Obie and Jeremiah enter, they are alone in the car. Jeremiah pulls her into his arms and gives her his undivided attention. He pushes no buttons.

The elevator door opens, admitting several people. The car begins to move. Jeremiah does not break their connection, but he does move Obie into a back corner.

The elevator stops, and soon ascends, stopping on the same floor they’d just left.

Mr. Biggler enters. Jeremiah finally breaks the kiss, but is oblivious to the others in the elevator with them.


        JEREMIAH
      (whispering)
    Does that feel like a publicity stunt? Done for
    what adoring public’s benefit?

Obie’s eyes meet Mr. Biggler’s uneasily, debating her answer, unsure if Jeremiah’s whisper reached her ears alone. She whispers back, eyes staring into Jeremiah’s, deliberately cutting his boss.


        OBIE
    To deliberately get your boss so angry that he
    yanks your contract and blackballs you?

Jeremiah turns. His body stiffens. Before he can speak, Mr. Biggler leers at the pair.


        MR. BIGGLER
    So, that was for real, not just a publicity
    stunt?

    And another thing, Mr. Hagrath. No media
    appearances with Miss Age-Impaired, either.
    It’s no good for your sexy image. We were
    highly unhappy when she destroyed your
    triumphant-return-to-adoring-fans press con-
    ference.

        JEREMIAH
    You ordered that fiasco? I thought it was
    Matt, my agent’s, work!

        MR. BIGGLER
    He merely set it up. He’s not bright enough to
    dream it up.

The elevator bell dings, and Mr. Biggler exits smugly, content that Jeremiah is firmly under his thumb.

Jeremiah pushes his floor’s button in stunned silence.


        OBIE
    Well, I’m certainly thankful we left the cell
    phone set at the end. I’d hate to have erased
    that first masterpiece recording this one.
    What’s the capacity of one of these gismos,
    anyway?

Jeremiah gives her another heartfelt buss.


        JEREMIAH
    Obie, you are stunning!

        OBIE
    Hollywood could have invented that old “sold
    your soul to the devil” trope, from the sounds
    of that.

        JEREMIAH
    Oh, he’s really not so bad. He gave me my
    first big break. He’s just mad about the Larry
    King Live appearance. He set it up, true, but
    it sort of backfired on him.

        OBIE
    He told you to get engaged to your script-
    writer on screen?

        JEREMIAH
    No. He told me to promote my latest film.
    That was supposed to be Superman IV, but I
    turned the part down. I only owe him one
    more film, and if I took that one, there was a
    sequels clause in it that could have obligated
    me to play Superman for him until I died off
    of old age, had he wanted to enforce it.

        OBIE
    Yeah, I see how he’s not so bad. You do
    things his way, or you have no career. Did
    you even mention your next film? I don’t re-
    member everything that was said exactly.

Jeremiah looks down, shuffling his feet.


        JEREMIAH
    No. And then I snubbed the actress he’d
    picked to play across from me.

        OBIE
    The Barracuda?

        JEREMIAH
    Yes.

        OBIE
    God. And you working by propinquity and all.
    How awful! What kind of a house will you
    give a shark like that? One with a sunken
    aquarium for a living room, visible from the
    bedroom as a ceiling, where the party guests
    are encouraged to skinny dip?

Jeremiah and Obie laugh companionably.


        JEREMIAH
    I sure hope I never find myself on your bad
    side. I also never plan to allow you access to
    my architects.

The elevator stops. Leaning over, Jeremiah pecks Obie on the cheek.


        JEREMIAH
    I have to see a man about a shooting sched-
    ule. I’ll meet you in the lobby in ten, okay?

Obie looks pointedly at her naked wrist and shrugs.


        OBIE
    I’m sure I can find something to keep me oc-
    cupied that long.

        JEREMIAH
    Well, at least you’ve already had your bout of
    fireworks for the day.

The elevator door closes on Jeremiah’s retreating back.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS MAIN HEADQUARTERS – LOBBY


When Obie exits the elevator in the lobby, a cue of young guitar-carrying musicians catches her eye. All are male.

Obie moves toward the cue as if hypnotized.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS MAIN HEADQUARTERS – HALLWAY OFF LOBBY


A harried clipboard-carrying STUDIO FLUNKY exits a room he’s evidently been using for auditions, passing OBIE as if she is invisible. He has a cell phone pressed to his ear.


        STUDIO FLUNKY
    I’ll be right up. These bozos won’t go any-
    where with a plum this juicy riding on their
    performance.

OBIE quietly shadows the Studio Flunky.


Flinging his clipboard carelessly onto a desk by the door, the Studio Flunky pushes rudely past a tall, dark skinned, extremely good-looking Native American man, TASUNKE FOUR PONIES, who is bent over, uncasing his guitar.


        STUDIO FLUNKY
    Move it, Tonto.

Tasunke looks up as the studio flunky reaches the elevator doors.

Obie stares, transfixed by Tasunke’s blue, deep blue eyes.

Beat.


        OBIE (V.O.) (CONTINUOUS)
    Cu. This man is my CU. “But can he talk?”
    How to find out without tipping my hand…

Purposefully, Obie picks up the clipboard Studio Flunky put on the desk. Casually flipping through some papers on the clipboard, Obie officiously holds them in one hand while she rummages in her purse for a pen. She pretends to ignore the Native American Man.


        OBIE
      (to Tasunke)
    Okay, come on in. Let’s see what you’ve got.

Obie and Tasunke man enter the audition room.


        MAN IN CUE #1
    Hey, it’s my turn!

        MAN IN CUE #2
    He can’t go in there next.

        MAN IN CUE #1
    He already has.

Other men in the cue ad-lib disrespectful comments about cutting in line, etc., forming a general rumbling of indistinguishable but obviously disgruntled comments until the door shuts.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – AUDITION ROOM


Carefully, Tasunke begins to tune his battered guitar.


        OBIE
    What’s your name? Your real name. Surely
    your mother could do better by you than
    Tonto, which translates as “stupid”. Even if it
    has another meaning in a Native American
    language, I’d think that whole Kemosabe
    (Wise Master)/Tonto bit would get old. As
    much as I loved the Lone Ranger, that always
    bothered me, once I got old enough to under-
    stand it. I mean, hero worship has its place,
    but personal derogation infuriates me.

    The way that studio flunky left, I admire your
    restraint.

        TASUNKE
      (softly)
    I need the job.

        OBIE
    Ah, there’s always that. A realist in the land of
    let’s pretend. How refreshing!

        TASUNKE
    Tasunke, ah, Tom Four Ponies. Any particular
    style?

Obie listens to the rough, slightly foreign sound of his voice, closing her eyes to focus better on it.


        OBIE
    How about something traditionally Indio?
    That should do nicely.

Tasunke’s head shoots up, hunting for the barb. Obie’s eyes are still closed, her pose totally relaxed. As if she can feel the intensity of his gaze, she opens her eyes. They are widely innocent, inquiring, guileless. Tasunke relaxes slightly, then heads into the intricate rhythms of Urubamba.


        OBIE
    Are there words?

        TASUNKE
    Maybe.

Tasunke begins to sing in rich throaty tones. Obie again closes her eyes, listening intently.


        OBIE
    Yes. That will do nicely. An added bonus.
    Now let’s see what else you’ve got in your
    package. Shuck them and run, then leap as
    high into the air as you can.

Tasunke hits an odd note on his guitar, then glances quickly toward Obie. Obie still sits in a relaxed attitude, eyes still closed.


Tasunke carefully lays his battered guitar on its equally battered case, pulls off his shirt without unbuttoning it and drapes it over the other end of the guitar case. He glances at Obie again to see how far “shuck” is intended to go.


Obie nods encouragement.


Gulping, Tasunke unsnaps his jeans, slips off his shoes, and is naked in one magnificent swoosh. He bends, quickly grabbing the guitar by its neck and lowers his playing position strategically.

Looking over, Tasunke nods in response to Obie’s nod, then begins to lope loose-stridedly around the perimeter of the room. Tasunke continues the song as though “pause” has been released suddenly on an I-pod. Tasunke leaps, side view to Obie. He is further off the floor than the chair backs.


        OBIE
      (dispassionately)
    From the rear, now, please.

Turning in front of her, he heads toward the door, leaping magnificently just as the door opens on Mr. Biggler.

Mr. Biggler turns purple with outrage. His jaws quiver with anger. His finger shakes as he points it at Obie and Tasunke.

Tasunke steps to the side of the room containing his guitar case.


        MR. BIGGLER
      (bellows)
    What do you think you’re doing?

Obie faces Mr. Biggler squarely, apparently unruffled.


        OBIE
    Do you hold a contract with this man?

Mr. Biggler cannot force himself to look directly at Tasunke.


        MR. BIGGLER
      (angrily)
    No, and I don’t ever intend to.

Mr. Biggler stares at the wall just above Tasunke’s head.


        MR. BIGGLER
      (to Tasunke)
    Get out!

Tasunke turns toward his guitar case. He tumbles his jeans and shoes into the open case one handed, catching it up with his clothes caught in the middle, preventing it from closing. He carefully lifts it one handed so nothing spills and heads toward the door.


        OBIE
      (to Tasunke)
    A minute.

Tasunke faces Obie.

Obie steps closer to Tasunke and holds out a business card. She realizes he has no hands free to accept it, so she finally settles on sliding it under his fingers that are gripping the neck of the guitar so tightly that they are white tipped.

Tasunke’s face remains impassive.

Obie’s eyes show her compassion. She ignores Mr. Biggler‘s frowning presence.


        OBIE
    Go see Robbie and tell him Obie says you’re
    Cu. Tell him that he’s to immediately draw up
    an ironclad contract to fend off the sharks.

Tasunke nods, then exits.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – HALLWAY OUTSIDE AUDITION ROOM


Tasunke faces the cue of musicians, who scrutinize him. Slowly he walks down the other aspirants for the job. He carefully inspects the men. He sees several others who appear to be Native Americans, but he walks on past, clutching clothes, guitar neck, case, and card.


        MAN IN CUE #3
    Nude auditioning for that old broad? No way!
    Count me out!

The Man in Cue heads for the door to the street. Several other men in line follow his lead. The line shortens. None of those leaving have anywhere near Tasunke’s physic, the physic of a man who could play “Cu”.

Tasunke looks dazed. He hits the lobby just as the elevator doors open.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – LOBBY ELEVATOR DOORS


Jeremiah surveys the lobby from inside the elevator, looking toward the front door for signs of Obie as he holds one hand against the doors to prevent them from closing.

As Jeremiah steps out of the elevator, his eyes light momentarily on Billie, filming away down a hallway off the lobby.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – LOBBY


Jeremiah overhears the voices of two elderly, blue-haired women, SHOCK and AW, talking from somewhere behind him.


        SHOCK
    Look at that man! He’s naked!

        AWE
    So he is, and what a sight he is! Rarely have
    I seen so splendid a specimen!

    Bring it on, Big Boy!

Jeremiah’s ears burn, even though he knows they are not talking about him. Slowly he turns, taking in the two blue-haired little old ladies, but not focusing on them. His eyes are drawn down the hallway, past a cue of guitarists, to Obie, hands on hips, finger wagging in Mr. Biggler’s face.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – AUDITION ROOM DOORWAY


        OBIE
    You remember him, Mr. Biggler. You remem-
    ber him real good. You’ll hear about him
    again. Probably at one of the Oscar ceremo-
    nies for his role in Saga or Propinquity. Do
    you know his name?

Mr. Biggler’s eyes glare at her as he shakes his head.


        OBIE
    No? Well, you will.

INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – LOBBY ELEVATOR DOORS - CONTINUOUS


Jeremiah’s eyes light on a NAKED MAN, Tasunke. He dashes toward him instantly.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – LOBBY IN FRONT OF MEN’S ROOM AT THE ENTRANCE TO THE HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS


        JEREMIAH
      (mumbling to himself as he dashes to intercept Tasunke)
    Obie, what have you done now?

Jeremiah intercepts Tasunke.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – LOBBY MEN’S ROOM DOORWAY - CONTINUOUS


        JEREMIAH (CONTINUOUS)
      (to Tasunke)
    Might not want to hit the street dressed quite
    like that. In here, quick.

Jeremiah holds open the door to the men’s room, blocking most people’s view of Tasunke’s body as he hustles Tasunke into the rest room.

Tasunke ducks down and slips inside under Jeremiah’s outstretched arm holding the door open.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – MEN’S ROOM - CONTINUOUS


Jeremiah follows Tasunke inside, blocking the door with his body.


        TASUNKE (CONTINUOUS)
    He kicked me out. Me. After I did everything
    that old bat said, too, no matter how ridiculous.

Tasunke sets Obie’s card carefully on the edge of the sink as he talks. Tasunke balances his guitar case across the sink, just above the card.

Jeremiah’s eyes light on the card.


        JEREMIAH (V.O.)
    Oh, no! Obie’s found her Cu!

Tasunke removes his clothes from the case, then packs his battered guitar away, lowering the case to the floor beside the sink. Finally he begins to dress himself.


Jeremiah takes the measure of Tasunke. He’s several inches taller than Jeremiah. His features are definitely Native American.

Tasunke’s eyes meet Jeremiah’s in the mirror above the sink.


        TASUNKE
    You’re the dude who got engaged to that Old…
    Oh, wow! That was her, wasn’t it? I’m sorry,
    dude. I didn’t mean any disrespect.
      (Beat)
    She’s quite something, isn’t she?

        JEREMIAH
    Done much acting?

        TASUNKE
    Not out here. I’ve done lots of tribal stuff – a
    preserve our heritage series for use in the
    schools… mostly documentaries.

    I’ve demonstrated how to make a bow, skin
    your catch, tan the hide, find native edible
    plants to survive on if you need to live off the
    land, set up a teepee, build a wickiup from
    scratch, light a fire without matches, construct
    a tomahawk from existing materials found on
    the reservation, catch and train a wild horse.

        JEREMIAH
    Sounds exciting. Once Obie heard “horse”,
    I’m sure you were in. And she gave you this
    card, right?

        TASUNKE
    Yeah, man. She told me to go see “Robbie”
    like I ought to know who she’s talking about.
    Is there a “Robbie” employed here?

        JEREMIAH
    Not that I ever heard of.

As Tasunke snaps his jeans firmly in place, Jeremiah breathes a bit easier. Jeremiah can’t make himself be the bad guy.


        JEREMIAH
    You don’t want to work for anyone here, any-
    way. You probably know Obie’s Robbie. He
    heads up the Sundance Film Festival. Mr. Big-
    gler would rather die than refer anyone there.

    He’s forbidden me… Well, we don’t need to go
    into that now.

Jeremiah is still fighting an internal battle with himself. His face shows this struggle.


        TASUNE
    So do you think she just offered me a job be-
    cause she felt guilty for getting me kicked
    out? Sort of as a sop to my ego, or some-
    thing? I’d already admitted to her that I
    really needed a job.

        JEREMIAH
    Right.

Jeremiah rolls his eyes, grimacing.


        JEREMIAH
    But, you know, they’ve got no right to ask you
    to strip down. Not even Obie.

Tasunke has replaced both shoes now.


        JEREMIAH (V.O.)
    Especially not Obie.

        JEREMIAH
    You should never give in to that kind of pres-
    sure.

        TASUNKE
    I was asked to come up with Indian music, to
    run, to leap.

        JEREMIAH
    By whom?

        TASUNKE
    I don’t know her name. I’m just supposed to
    tell Robbie to hire me as Cu. Honestly. You
    can’t imagine how important this job is to me.

Angrily Jeremiah grabs the door handle, yanking it open.


INT. PARAMOUNT STUDIOS HEADQUARTERS – LOBBY


Jeremiah reaches the lobby just as Obie reaches the front door, watched carefully by Mr. Biggler to be sure she really leaves.

Jeremiah’s heart leaps up in his throat as Obie’s eyes light up upon seeing him.

Obie turns confidently. She calls back as she exits.


        OBIE (CONTINUOUS)
    Just remember, you turned him down.

Obie’s laugh echoes around the cavernous lobby.

The musicians straighten to attention as Mr. Biggler’s scathing glance takes in the remnants of his line-up.


        MR. BIGGLER
    Anyone else here wish they were working
    elsewhere?

Jeremiah, safely behind Mr. Biggler’s back, raises his hand, then turns to follow Obie out the door.

Tasunke slips out beside him, using Jeremiah’s body to shield himself from any potential glimpses from Mr. Biggler.


INT. ROBBIE’S PENTHOUSE HOTEL SUITE – MORNING


The front page of the newspaper lying on the coffee table displays an erotic naked shot of “Cu” in the lobby of the Paramount Studios Headquarters.

CU of Newspaper Clipping

Studio Cans Stripper Amid Contract Controversy.

Midway down the story by the Hedda Hopperesque journalist Obie first met at one of her luncheons with Jeremiah is a mention of the project The Saga of Travels Far Woman.

Obie mentions Tasunke Four Ponies is her pick for playing the role of Cu.

Jeremiah enters, pausing to read the story between getting himself some toast and coffee.

Obie enters, yawning.


        JEREMIAH
      (heatedly)
    Obie, how could you feed this schlock to the
    media?

        OBIE
    Excuse me, Jeremiah. Be sensible. I know
    that’s the role you coveted, but you still look
    Nordic/Irish, not Indio; have brown eyes, not
    blue; were just forbidden by your studio to
    appear in that picture, and would be perfect
    for the part of Mick, even to looking very good
    next to “Cu”, with whom you would have many
    scenes, if we can get the studio to change
    their minds.

    Did I, or did I not, carefully explain to you
    that you could not play the role of Cu before
    you even drug me out here to California?

    Did I, or did I not, explain to you that I’d know “Cu” when I saw him? This guy is Indio, blue-eyed, a hunk, and was kicked out of that studio, with no contract and the assurance that none would be forthcoming.

    So, now that Saga appears to have received
    dose number two of notoriety, getting the
    buzz, finding its legs, with the best part for
    you to play still open, giving you time to get a
    work-around on your contract, obviously, you
    react with anger.

    Is this the same man who explained to me af-
    ter he got engaged to me in a very high-
    handed fashion on national TV that there was
    no such thing as bad publicity for a movie or
    an actor?

Jeremiah’s lips quirk up. He lowers his beautiful eye lashes, then peeks up at Obie through them, charming to the max.


        JEREMIAH
      (sheepishly)
    When I saw him crossing the lobby, striding
    like that, starkers, magnificent, with you
    watching his buns, and Mr. Biggler in an apo-
    plectic snit, well, I guess I just got jealous.
    Then, on top of that, I discovered after I’d
    rescued him, he turned out to have your
    blessing in my desired role. I guess, I’ve,
    I’ve been on a rampage ever since.

    Forgive me?

Obie reaches for his hand, but he pulls her into his arms. The kiss looks steamy from a camera’s angle, but Obie finds it lacking.


        OBIE
    Before you turn thirty, you will learn to kiss.

INT. JEREMIAH'S HOLLYWOOD MANSION - EVENING


Jeremiah and Obie chat companionably over coffee alone in the living room.

Billy enters, quietly setting up his camera in the corner.

Obie tips her thumb toward Billy.


        OBIE
    What’s he up to?

        JEREMIAH
    I told you a while back that I was thinking
    about working with Billy. I have agreed to al-
    low him to film me for the next three months,
    no holds barred.

        OBIE
    Can he wait five minutes before he turns on
    the camera? It might be less incriminating.

Jeremiah gazes at her in astonishment.


        JEREMIAH
    You are contemplating doing something crimi-
    nal? I can’t believe it. You’re always so
    straight-laced.

        OBIE
    I want to use that footage Billy shot at Para-
    mount in Propinquity. It’s dynamite.

        JEREMIAH
    Okay, this is one plot I’ve got to hear. Mr.
    Biggler is so furious with you, he’ll never allow
    that, especially since he let his true colors
    show through.

        OBIE
    Sure he will. It just has to be packaged right,
    and delivered by the right person… who is not
    me.

        JEREMIAH
    I feel the role of sacrificial lamb coming on.

        OBIE
    No way. He’s already threatened your career.
    I was thinking Billy would be the perfect mes-
    senger. He’s got the footage, first, and thus
    has creative control of it. Secondly, if he
    shows up with a copy of his raw footage, to-
    day, while “Cu” is splashed all over the front
    page, Mr. Movie Mogul might fall for it.

        JEREMIAH
    Okay, so he watches footage of himself acting
    as an A hole. That’s supposed to convince
    him to allow us to use it in a movie? Am I
    missing something?

        OBIE
    Billy, as owner of the footage, tells him it is
    for sale, and he has two offers for it.

    One is for a better price, but requires a re-
    lease from Mr. Biggler and a bunch of other
    people that were in the lobby.

    The other, for less money, does not have that
    problem.

Jeremiah sips his coffee thoughtfully.


        JEREMIAH
    I don’t get it. Who are the two offers from?

        OBIE
    The KCAL TV network for the nightly news,
    where our project gets its third set of legs,
    for one.

        BILLY
    They’d jump at the chance.

        JEREMIAH
    Beautiful. It is perfectly believable, too. Billy
    works for them as a stringer all the time. He
    filmed the best of the footage of our arrival in
    California… the parts that got splashed on na-
    tional TV.

Billy is listening carefully, his camera off, nodding his head affirmatively. As Jeremiah once pointed out, he likes adventure.


        OBIE
    In the second offer, the footage is the same,
    but Mr. Biggler signs permission to use the
    footage over to Propinquity and helps get slips
    from others on screen in the footage. This is
    damage control. His bad actions can then be
    explained as acting a role. I promise, in writ-
    ing if needed, to write it all into the script.

    It would be nice if he also let you do Mick dur-
    ing the summer hiatus, but Billy will have to
    play that by ear.

    If he’s going to take the deal with us, he has
    to have his release in our hands before five
    p.m. today, so Billy still has a hope of making
    the six thirty news. What’s a reasonable
    amount of time to get the other people to sign
    on?

Jeremiah bursts into hearty laughter. Obie and Billy join him.


        JEREMIAH
    I like the way you think! Billy, are you game?

        BILLY
    I’m already burning the DVD.

Word Count: 4911
Reading Level: 5.4
Tags: patm
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments